Blogging Turns on the Red Light with PayPerPost.com

As of today, knowing whether a blog post is unbiased or a blogfomercial, will be a lot trickier with the launch of PayPerPost.com.

As Business Week reports, the new service from MindComet’s Ted Murphy, pays bloggers to write about and endorse products in return for payment by advertisers.

Advertisers pay to post details about their “opportunity,” specifying, among other things, how they want bloggers to write about, say, a new shoe, if they want photos to be included, and whether they’ll pay only for positive mentions. Bloggers who abide by the rules get paid; heavily trafficked blogs may command premium rates.

PayPerPost bloggers will not be required to disclose they are getting paid for the post.

Obviously blog-prostitution has been going on for months, now it has it’s very own brothel. ;-)

China Looking to Strangle Blogs and Search Engines

I really can’t imagine what’s it like to live in a country that controls what you can and what you can view online. China once again shows its paranoia by launching an initiative to tighten supervision of blogs and search engines.

“As more and more illegal and unhealthy information spreads through the blog and search engine, we will take effective measures to put the BBS, blog and search engine under control,” said Cai Wu, director of the Information Office of the State Council, at a meeting held Wednesday.

With search engine users numbers expected to top 100 million this year, surely China will soon face the realization that they fighting a losing battle – how will they cope when that figure gets to 200 million?

Via Steve Rubel.

Realtors Start to Look at Online Advertising

A couple of years back I spoke at two different real estate conferences – Inman and REMAX – and let me tell you, they were some of the toughest people to get to understand search marketing.

Well, according to ClickZ, they’re finally starting to get the hang of this internet-thing and will spend more than $3 billion in online advertising by 2010.

It’s not surprising that the newer realtors are realizing the benefit of online advertising ahead of the more experienced crowd.

…36 percent of those who have been agents 10 years or longer use online advertising, while 64 percent of those in the business for 10 years or fewer buy online ads. Seventy-one percent of those less-experienced agents will boost their Web ad budgets this year compared to 48 percent of their veteran counterparts.

Google Copying Amazon’s Master Plan

I order a lot of stuff via Amazon.com, why? They already have my credit card info and I can shop many merchants all from a single shopping cart. Sound like any new service that may have launched recently?

It sure does to CNET

Checkout is, however, a huge threat to Amazon. The biggest thing the online superstore has going for it is convenience. Once you buy an item on Amazon, buying the next one is a one-click affair. But go to another store, and you’ve got to enter your credit card info all over again. Amazon wins for convenience, and over time it’s earned buyers’ trust.

Could eBay Ban Google Checkout?

MarketingVOX uncovers an interesting theory that eBay may conveniently decide Google Checkout doesn’t meet their approval, preventing eBay merchants from using the new service.

According to eBay’s policy, approval is in part dependent on “whether the payment service has a substantial historical track record of providing safe and reliable financial and/or banking related services (new services without such a track record generally cannot be promoted on eBay).”

UPDATE: Jason Miller pings me to let me know that he saw this coming… 9 months ago!!! I’m gonna ask Jason for this weeks lottery numbers and next year’s Super Bowl winner. ;-)

Google Yawns in the Face of French Trademark Ruling

CNET reports Google has been ordered to pay damages in a French trademark law suit.

The Paris Court of Appeals ordered Google and its French subsidiary to pay $376,589 (300,000 euros) in damages…Google is barred from using Louis Vuitton’s trademarks in its advertising on all of its Web sites accessible from France, and Google was ordered to pay Louis Vuitton $94,139 (75,000 euros) in legal expenses and to publish the ruling in four news magazines and an online site

Nice win for the French, but Google couldn’t really care less…

“This is an old Adwords case–and none of the issues apply today,” a Google representative said in a prepared statement. “We have a trademark policy, which prevents bids on other people’s registered trademarks, and we do not allow people to advertise with AdWords for counterfeit products. Today’s case does not raise any new issues whatsoever.”

Yahoo’s Click Fraud Settlement Makes Google Look Like Suckers

If you thought Google’s $90 million click fraud settlement was pathetic, wait until you see what Yahoo just got away with…

Under the terms of the settlement, granted preliminary approval by U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles, Yahoo would pay roughly $5 million in legal fees and extend its period for reviewing advertiser click-fraud complaints to include disputed charges since January 2004. The Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet company normally reviews only those complaints related to disputed charges that occurred within the past 60 days.

Way to go Yahoo, $5 million in legal fees and you only have to extend the “reviewing period” back to January 2004. They don’t actually have to commit to refunding the disputed clicks, just to agree to review them. Have you ever dealt with Yahoo on fraudulent clicks? They don’t just say, “you’re right, here, have your money back.”